J'aime Montreal

There are so many reasons i love this city.

Brunch Menu #44

1. Excellent use for leftover Shrimp & Grits: Shrimp and Grits pancakes topped with poached eggs. Yuuuuummmmmmmmmm.

2. Shape cold blobs into pancakes, dust both sides in flour to help bind, and fry in a tiny bit of olive oil till golden on each side.

3. top with 2 poached eggs, dollop of butter, a little fresh ground salt and pepper.

Now i'm ready to go do pine bark, manure, the wheelbarrow, and see if i can sketch design #67 for the deck, fence, gate... whatever (to ennable an addition of a dog to the household).

Happy to say i'm pretty much over the horrible sore throat and congestion that hit me last Monday night. It was awful and had me waking up in the middle of the night thinking i was going crazy... but by thursday i was feeling better and now seem to be over it, thankfully.


Surely It's a Typo??

Go HERE and click on the EXHIBITION link. Look at the list of student work represented in the exhibition at right, scroll down to the 1980s, and find yours truly, CYVN. Wow. I'm flattered that my work is in the Georgia Tech College of Architecture's Centennial Exhibition; have to admit i'm also a little curious to know what it is, and scared to death to SEE what it is!


Roast Chicken & cetera

First to report on is the lovely roast chicken Steven made earlier, with scallions and szechuan peppercorns and other delights.. we braised some green beans, made a 3 minute gravy, and yum yum yum. Ate it right off the platter and threw the bones on the floor!

In other news, the volleyball stud puppy that lives with me received his sexy up-to-the-knee sox and volleyball sneakers the other day, courtesy the Brown. He's getting ready for the Friday night ritual VB games at Athens Middle School in town... not sure yet if we'll walk down there and i'll go see a movie or not yet... hmmm. Decisions decisions. But seriously, isn't it great how he'll cheese for the camera?

Vermont :: Live Free or Die?

That's not the title of a new Charles Busch story. No. I'm sure by now many of you know of what's been brewing in Vermont this week.

Yesterday Vermont Governor Jim Douglas announced that he will veto a gay marriage bill if it passes the Legislature. The marriage equality bill passed in the Senate and is expected to pass in the House as well. He calls this veto a personal decision. Whatever. Seems more like bigotry to me. Stand up and speak out. Call his office today at (802) 828-3333 and tell him that separate is never equal. I'm making my call in few minutes while i have some lunch downstairs.


My New Favorite 15 Minute Comfort Food Supper

So, who doesn't need a supper that really only takes 15 minutes or so, yet totally nurtures the comfort yin we all sometimes need at the end of a having to be inside an office on a lovely spring day?? What's not to like about brevity at time like this? (I'm talking to you Ina!)

We are having lovely, creamy, supple Shrimp and Grits tonight. With a little added green, it's a balanced meal in a bowl. (Be sure to notice the groovy late 70s homemade kitty cat potholder in the background. MEOW! Thanks Mom & BC!)

First, make 4 servings of some good quality grits (otherwise known as Polenta in civilized circles).

This brand'll do you proud every time (does anyone get the Loretta Lynn reference?? probably not.). Bob's Red Mill is my favorite. It seems to not be overprocessed and infused with petrochemicals, like everything else at Kroger.

Next, french one small onion. Sautee in some olive oil for 2 or 3 minutes.

Add some peeled, clean, fresh shrimp.

Sautee...just for 45 seconds or so.

Deglaze with a healthy dose of the white wine of your choosing.

Now, the grits should have cooked for 5 minutes or so. Turn them off and add them to the pot.

Add a cup or so of milk.

add some chopped fresh Kale. I love the slight bitterness of Kale, but i'm sure other hearty greens of your choosing would work as well... such as collards or turnips. I turn the heat OFF at this point. The dish is hot enough to wilt the kale, but not fully cook it, which is nice.

Add another splash of wine if the consistency is too thick! Or if you are worried all the alcohol evaporated...

Now for the yummy parts. Add a big ol' blob of real butter, and a glob of cream cheese if you have some.

Some fresh-grated Parm too.

Isn't that lovely? Stick to your ribs goodness... with time for communing with the birds later.

Not those kinda birds! I'll be communing with this bird.


Marketing Maneuver

For Sioux City, Iowa. SUX is the airport code. No kidding.

Our Mountain House... in Detroit??

Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project? $100 houses? Matthew Barney’s “Ancient Evenings” project? Crazy artists taking over slums abandoned by corporate American waste and greed?

What do all the above words have in common? Detroit, i tell you. Where a house can be had for $100 these days (i'm still skeptical about that). Where the nations artists are flocking to make their way, make a statement, and live cheaply and in a new way.

I just read THIS op-ed piece in the NYT from a couple of weeks ago about it all. Seriously Steven, maybe we should buy a mountain house in a Detroit crack hood? Or, at least go for a visit and see what it's really like. You think there are entire streets covered with stuffed animals like this?

Get Up in your Right Pit, and Blast It!

OMG. Double Pits to Chesty?? Is THIS homoerotic as hell or what?? Rev it up.

Groovy Chandelier

We got this for scarcely more than the price of lunch--lunch at Ikea mind you--back in December. I haven't wired it up yet, but it is hanging on our back porch over the table. Love the bluish glow. I wish i could put it on our deck when we do it.


Food and Work. The Usual.

We've been eating lots and lots of good food lately... and taking lots of pictures, but i'm too lazy to get them off the camera. One thing i love about my notebook is that i can take pictures with it, and voila, there's the pic. No wires, no camera, no hassle. Someday soon i suppose some next generation bluetooth thingy will just beam photos from the camera to the computer. That will be nice.

Tonight I cooked; Steven spent a bunch of time in the garden getting all his sprouting babies some tlc. Still a few more weeks until all the plants in the house and greenhouse can emerge back into the front and back gardens. We had a nice Porterhouse steak, some simple broiled asparagus, and totally sinful potatoes: boiled and then tossed with scallion, butter, SNOWVILLE CREAMERY cream cheese, and some wonderful chicken stock paste we've been buying at Trader Joes.

In other news, I went to Sioux City for my project there (the eighth trip now?) and got to survey an old, trashed Eisenhower-Interstate-System-era concrete road paver. This baby is going to be restored (by the gentleman standing next to me, who owns it, and is donating it to the museum that is my client) and placed in the visitor experience. All told, with it's 1957 Mack Diamond T dump truck in the front, dumping raw material into the skip, the drum and mixer, and the boom with the traveling bucket, it is nearly 90 feet long. So, as the designer, actually placing it is going to be a really fun challenge.

Along with a couple of airplanes, a 1902 Oldsmobile (think mahogany Chris Craft: mostly made out of wood!), numerous buckboards, broughams, carriages and buggies, several other 20s and 30s era vehicles, many industrial and stockyard and meatpacking fragments, hundreds of pieces of terra cotta and other architectural fragments, gobs of furniture and household material culture, and thousands of other smaller artifacts, the road paver above is being arranged into a coherent story of Sioux City history. Coherent sentences be damned.

The giant artifacts are really fascinating and have many stories to tell; but the most exciting parts i'm working on involve audio-visual environments that work in conjunction with the collection. A burned out building recreation will house giant projections of Sioux City disasters (fires, floods, explosions, the crash of United 232, etc.). Another environment is Sioux City's Attic, and will celebrate the bizarre, cryptic, and often surreal connections between what a museum collects, the stories of the people involved, and the networks out into the rest of the world that result. Many of the artifacts demonstrate an essential irony: here, in the city history museum, one finds pieces that really have nothing to do with Sioux City... well, except for the fact that a Sioux City native collected them. The gallery will have lots of a/v tricks: mirrors that dissolve into ghost stories, televisions and music boxes that mysteriously come to life, furniture that flies and rugs that pull out from under one's feet. Another theatrical space will recreate a portion of a Corn Palace from SC history; a show-controlled theatrical presentation with object reveals and dramatic overviews of this place that--with all the exuberance and hucksterism of the 1880s--once tried to market itself as Chicago's rival.

I think i'm going to walk (waddle?) across the street now for a little tub of ice cream.


Newsclipping of the Day :: Time to burn down Wall Street

I know this is old news, but i had a rough week and am just now catching up with the week's news. Thank you, for speaking the truth John Stewart. Thanks for saying what every fake news anchor or investigative journalist won't say. For those of you who may not have seen it already:


2003 :: Panther Creek

I am so ready to go on weekend backpacking trips. This weekend would've been PERFECT, if only Steven hadn't had to be on call. Supposed to have rained, and so far it has not materialized. I bet it will be here in the morning.

Panther Creek was the nearest, best and favorite place to go for a weekend hike from Atlanta. A couple hours drive to the north, into the Appalachians, with a beautiful trail that parallels the stream, sometimes high above it, often right next, sometimes crisscrossing. We went there so many times with Trotsky. One time we watched him chasing something, slip into the stream, and tumble down a long waterfall. Another time i slipped and had a freak accident that frightened us both (I still have a strange hole in my left leg muscle from that). One time one of Trotter's friends Petey came along with us and committed terrible dog transgressions. Often we would practice Tai Chi on big rocks in the center of the stream... wish we'd taken more photos of that!

Our Groovy Little Cinema

Wow, look at Chris! He's like Roger Ebert! Where's Ruth?? She sends me emails every week to let me know what's coming up... and she ALWAYS gives me my club soda for free. I seriously heart this place.


Remember That Tart

From the other day? I think it's the best tart i've ever made. I think what made it the best was the cognac with the apples and sugar. And the pastry cream. Well, and the shortbread crust didn't hurt either. And the whipped cream on top was great too. The whole thing was very subtle and nice and chilled.

I wish i could make it for Ina Garten. I'm sure she'd have some advice for me about how to make it better. We just had the last of it.

War on Entrenched Interests

If any of you are NOT getting enough of Obama these days (last week's unofficial, brilliant State of the Union Address notwithstanding), you might enjoy going HERE to enjoy his weekly radio addresses. In last Saturday's he basically declared war on the entrenched special interests in Washington and told them: no more business as usual. I'm so glad we have this guy. Just consider this choice quote as a teaser:

"I realize that passing this budget won’t be easy. Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington. I know that the insurance industry won’t like the idea that they’ll have to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but that’s how we’ll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs for American families. I know that banks and big student lenders won’t like the idea that we’re ending their huge taxpayer subsidies, but that’s how we’ll save taxpayers nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable. I know that oil and gas companies won’t like us ending nearly $30 billion in tax breaks, but that’s how we’ll help fund a renewable energy economy that will create new jobs and new industries. I know these steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they’re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this:

"So am I."

Fight the H8 in Your State